DfE reveals plans to further boost teacher recruitment and development

Staff at the National College for Teaching and Leadership and the Department for Education to form one team to support teachers at every stage of their career

Staff at the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Department for Education will combine into one team to help better align efforts to attract the best and brightest into the profession, and support teachers at every stage of their career.

The department will take on teacher recruitment functions and the move will mean even closer coordination between the work already underway to improve schools and strengthen the profession, and the delivery of support to teachers in classrooms.

Regulation of the teaching profession, including misconduct hearings, will continue to be handled by an executive agency of the Department for Education. Led by existing teams at the NCTL, the executive agency known in future as the Teaching Regulation Agency.

The announcement, made on November 14, is part of the ongoing work to support teachers to deliver a world-class education that will broaden horizons for young people.

Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb said, “There are now a record number of teachers in our schools – 15,500 more than in 2010 – and overall the number of new teachers entering our classrooms outnumbers those who retire or leave. We need to continue to attract the best and brightest into the profession, and to support their development throughout their careers.

“Bringing these teams together within the Department will enable us to build on the work already underway to invest in the profession and better support teachers in the classroom.

“The Teaching Regulation Agency will continue to be an executive agency of the Department for Education and will begin to operate from April 2018.”

Chair of the National College of Teaching and Leadership Roger Pope said, “Having worked with the NCTL since October 2015, I have seen first-hand the benefits of the fantastic work by hard working staff across the organisation. It is right that as the education sector changes we adapt. This new approach will help ensure that all teachers get the support and recognition they deserve.”

The department will work closely with staff, unions and stakeholders in the education sector to deliver these plans.

The announcement follows the recent confirmation of a number of measures to recruit and retain more great teachers, including:

  • Naming the 25 areas across England selected to run a pilot programme to reimburse student loan repayments for modern foreign languages and science teachers in the early years of their careers. For a teacher on £29,000, the new student loan repayments pilot and the increased student loan repayment threshold of £25,000 will mean £720 cash in pocket per year. This is the equivalent of an approximate £1,000 increase in salary.
  • Naming the projects that will receive a share of the £75m Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund. These projects will help provide tailored training opportunities for teachers on both managing challenging pupil behaviour and developing leadership, so they can make the most of their talent in the classroom.
  • The opening of the Institute for Teaching, a new specialist graduate school for teachers to support their continued training and development.
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Commenting on the announcement that the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is being closed down next April, Malcolm Trobe, Deputy General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“Today’s announcement is a logical move which rightly keeps the current regulatory function of the NCTL as a distinct organisation while bringing the delivery of the government’s teacher recruitment strategy into the Department for Education alongside policy development.

“There is an ongoing crisis in teacher supply which is causing schools across the country great difficulties in putting teachers in front of classes in several subjects. This situation is hampering our attempts to raise standards further and is causing real damage to the schools which are most badly affected.

“Recently there has certainly been progress in improving the teacher supply model – which predicts the number of teachers that are needed each year. It is vital the Department for Education now builds on that work and improves it further to make sure that we have sufficient high-quality teachers in place to cope with a predicted increase of 492,000 pupils in English schools by 2022.

“We think it is also essential that the Department works closely with the teaching profession to develop a strategy which attracts more people into teaching and then provides them with better structured career development to help improve retention rates.

“To this end we would ultimately like to see the professional qualifications for teachers and school leadership developed and owned by the profession itself rather than by the government.”

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